We all know running is one of the most popular exercises for many reasons. It burns calories fast, improves health and relieves stress, but it also causes many injuries that take away the enjoyment of running. Every runner knows what I’m talking about… the shin splints, blisters and knee pains are really a pain. And while you may think avoiding those injuries is inevitable, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. Some of the most common running injuries have easy to follow tips to help avoid them:
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body. It connects the calve muscle to the heel bone and is used to walk, run, and jump. Achilles Tendinitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. This is caused by overuse and degeneration. Symptoms include pain, irritation, and swelling.
How to Prevent Achilles Tendinitis
Choose sensible footwear: You want to wear comfortable shoes that provide cushion and support for your feet. Your shoes should also have firm arch support.
Don’t Overdo It: Avoid activities that put strain on your tendon, like inclined running… and the moment you feel any kind of unusual pain, STOP and take it easy.
Stretch Daily: Stretch before and after your workout. This will prevent muscle strain and will improve flexibility.
Strengthen Your Calves: Do calve raises frequently to keep them strong. A stronger calve muscle will help prevent any kind of strain or inflammation.
The most common cause of heel pain. This occurs when the plantar fascia (the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes) is strained. Pain, Stiffness, and swelling usually occur.
How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
Choose Sensible Footwear: Wear shoes with good arch and heel support… not just for running, but for everyday activities as well.
Stretch Your Achilles Tendon: Just as I mentioned before, Stretch before and after your workout.
Alternate Running with Other Sports that will not Cause Heel Pain: Try some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. These workouts burn calories and increase heart rate just as running does. There are plenty of different variations that won’t put strain on your heel. Do research on HIIT workouts, find some that work well for you and get going!
We all know about shin splints… the dreaded pain along our shinbones. This is usually caused by recent higher intensified workouts or a change in a regular workout routine.
How to Prevent Shin Splints:
Don’t Increase Mileage Too Quickly: Set mileage goals for yourself, but take your time reaching them.
Don’t Run Through he Pain: It’s okay to take a couple days off to give your body a rest. Overdoing your workouts is the main cause of injuries. Treat your body well and rest when necessary.
Run on Soft Surfaces when Possible: Running on hard surfaces increases stress on your muscles, joints and bones. If possible, find a grassy area to run on to prevent the pain.
Strengthen Your Calves: Heel and toe raises are a good way stretch and strengthen your calves and shins. Keep them strong!
Blisters may just be the most aggravating injury. These are caused by friction and can happen when anything rubs your feet or ankles the wrong way. You are more prone to getting blisters when doing any kind of physical activity because sweat causes the skin to get softer; therefore any kind of rubbing can cause a blister.
How to Prevent Blisters
Break In Your Shoes: DO NOT workout in a brand new pair of shoes without breaking them in. Walk around in them first. Do some short workouts to really break them in.
Wear Thick Socks: The thicker the sock, the better! You want to wear the right kind of sock that will prevent rubbing from happening. Find a sock that fits well with your shoes.
Lubricate Your Feet: Lubrication will cause your feet to slide, instead of rub. Apply a small layer of lubrication before putting your socks on. You’ll definitely notice a difference!
This is one of the most common issues that runner experience. We all know about it, and the majority of us have probably experienced it. The constant rubbing of one thigh against the other, causes itching and irritation that no runner wants to deal with during a run.
How to Prevent Chafing
Avoid Cotton: Cotton absorbs sweat and keeps it. Ditch the cotton and go for a lighter material like dri-fit.
Wear Compression Shorts or Spandex: Cover your thighs with a tighter material to keep the sweat trapped.
Lubrication: Apply lubrication, like Vaseline, before you start your run.
Wear Clothes that Fit Well: Be sure to wear the right size. Anything too tight causes chafing.
All of these injuries are common and, unfortunately, runners are prone to them, but they can be prevented. Be smarter about your workout and take care of your body. Follow these tips and do your own research. Find what works best for your body and do what you can to stay healthy! Union Fitness also offers running clubs to prepare for races and to educate runners on the nature running. Join today to be one step closer to taking care of your body the right way!